The Simons family announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell the Steamboat (Colo.) Pilot & Today, Steamboat (Colo.) Today and Craig (Colo.) Daily Press to Swift Communications. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is representing the Simons family in the sale.
The 131-year-old paid weekly Steamboat Pilot & Today publishes on Sunday, and is complemented by the free daily Steamboat Today, online news site SteamboatToday.com and a number of glossy magazines. A companion website, ExploreSteamboat.com, has national reach with visitors interested in the renowned vacation destination area. The nearby Craig Daily Press has paid circulation of 1,700 and publishes three days a week, with an additional total market coverage weekend news product. Steamboat and Craig papers have both been recognized with General Excellence awards multiple times by the Colorado Press Association.
These Colorado newspapers were acquired by the Simons family in 1994. The family has been frequent visitors to Steamboat since the 1960s and will continue to own the real estate that houses the Steamboat publications, as well as a number of residential properties. “For 22 years we have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the community of Steamboat Springs,” said Dan Simons, co-manager. “We have been blessed to work with great journalists and good friends.”
“We are thrilled to welcome the Steamboat and Craig teams and publications to Swift,” said Bill Waters, chief executive officer of Swift Communications. “We have long admired the clear commitment and success of those operations to high-quality journalism.”
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016. Swift Communications was established in 1975 and is based in Carson City, Nevada. The company owns more than two dozen regional and local publications in California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Swift Communications specializes in serving mountain resort communities with daily newspapers, as well as large, national circulation and glossy magazines and a number of online products.
Today the Simons family also announced that it has entered into agreements to sell its publishing operations in Kansas and Arizona. The Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World is to be acquired by family-owned Ogden Newspapers and the Payson (Ariz.) Roundup will be sold to the Kramer family.